Finding poker player appreciation in changing times

Jan 26, 2016 3:00 AM

In the wake of MGM Resort’s recent announcement that it is going to start charging for parking on the Strip, it got me to thinking about those casinos that give back to their customers.

I found deals abound if you take the time to research where you are going to play before you put your money on the table.

In California, the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula has scheduled a Player Appreciation tournament in its poker room this Friday at 2 p.m. The tournament is the second freeroll Pechanga has held this month. The field is limited to the first 300 players to receive tickets while they are in live cash games.

In addition, the other promotions held throughout the week make it a worthwhile trip. Mondays and Wednesdays are Rack Attack days where three tables are splashed with $100 every hour from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Get there early on Wednesdays and play the $2,500 guarantee No Limit Hold’em tournament at 10 a.m. with a $30 buy-in, one of the lowest buy-ins around.

Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays are High Hand days from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. In hold’em games, Jacks full or better is required to qualify for the high hand, and in Omaha the requirement is quad 10s or better. The payouts are $250 for first, $150 second and $100 third; Omaha pays $75 for first and $20 for second. Valet parking is always free.

The Orleans Hotel & Casino’s poker room, named Best Poker Room by readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, is also widely regarded as the best place to play Omaha in Vegas, and it has the promotions to prove it.

Each month players can win cash for making a “steel wheel,” an ace to five straight flush. Each suit is seeded at $250 at the start of the weekly qualifying period. Suits not hit during the week progress in value by $250 at the start of next week’s qualifying period.

Another popular promotion is “Dash for Cash.” Players earn cash every 20 hours they play in a week starting on Sundays at midnight. The rate is $50 for any hold’em game and $100 for $4/$8 Omaha High. The Omaha High players earn a $100 bonus while hold’em players earn an extra $50 if they play 80 hours.

Patricia Chavira is a freelance writer and social media consultant specializing in gaming. She has played poker professionally for over 10 years. Email: [email protected]